S. Korean Delegation To Visit UAE To Discuss Nuclear Project

S. Korean delegation to visit UAE to discuss nuclear project

A South Korean delegation will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next week to discuss the operational plan for the Middle Eastern nation's first nuclear power plant, the energy ministry said Friday.

SEOUL, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News, app - 30th Nov, 2018 ) :A South Korean delegation will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) next week to discuss the operational plan for the middle Eastern nation's first nuclear power plant, the energy ministry said Friday.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and state-run utility firms, including the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), will visit the UAE from Dec. 3-6 to discuss issues related to the Barakah nuclear power plant.

KEPCO has been building four APR-1400 reactors at Barakah, with one of the first units getting ready for operation. All four units are scheduled for completion by 2020.

"They will discuss various issues, including nuclear cooperation projects with UAE," Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo said during a parliamentary committee meeting.

Their visit comes after Nawah Energy Company, a unit of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), recently signed a long-term service agreement for the Barakah plant with French energy company EDF.

Under the agreement, the EDF said it will provide Nawah with services in operational safety, radiation protection, fuel cycle management and environmental monitoring.

Nawah's service agreement with EDF has raised concerns over South Korea's chances of winning a long-term operation contract at the Barakah power plant amid the government's nuclear phase-out policy.

A consortium led by KHNP has been vying for a long-term maintenance agreement, with Nawah expected to open a bid in the first half of next year, according to KEPCO.

"We are currently operating the prototypes of Barakah nuclear reactors and have expertise in construction and related data," Kim Dong-seop, a senior KEPCO official, said during the meeting. "If UAE trusts our expertise, we will have a competitive edge." Seoul is pushing to gradually phase out nuclear power on rising safety concerns, while seeking ways to export indigenous nuclear reactors to maintain the local supply chain and workforces.

During his visit to the Czech Republic, President Moon Jae-in touted the advanced technology and safety of Korean-made reactors and expressed hope for an upcoming nuclear bid in the Eastern European nation.

South Korea is also vying for Saudi Arabia's first nuclear project after being selected as one of the preferred bidders in June along with rivals from the United States, France, Russia and China.

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